MEADOW-FOAM

Limnanthes douglasii

Meadow-Foam Family [Limnanthaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8bicolour
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
stem
stem8round
 
smell
smell8fragrant smell8perfume
fragrant

19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
A pretty garden plant, barely 6 inches high.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Unusual in that they are bi-coloured white with a very large yellow centre.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are quite large for their height.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
With five petals and five triangular sepals half the length of the petals.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are reminiscent of those of Pineapple Weed. The thicker stems bear several un-opened pentangular pyramidal flower buds. Already opened flowers seem to be singular, on thinner stalks.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The petals have a curvy nick. The large yellow patch in the middle is astoundingly circular. Un-like the similar Buttercup, the yellow is not shiny. Leaves pinnate, with narrow and pointed lobes. Note in the centre 4 as-yet un-opened flower-buds surrounded by a frilly lace curtain of young finely-divided leaves.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Like Grass-of-Parnassus the white petals have numerous greenish translucent veins, two of which are branched half-way along the petal.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The petals number five. The gap between them varies from wide, as here, to very close almost over-lapping.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
There are ten yellow stamens bearing deep-yellow anthers. The green and pointed sepals reach half the radius of the flower and are between the petals.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The ten yellow stamens with golden-yellow anthers. In the centre is also has a 5-celled ovary with one ovule per cell (and which transforms into a 5-celled schizocarp with one seed per cell), a single style and five stigmas.


9th June 2009, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The 5-celled ovary has consists of 5 spherical blobs arranged pentagonally. Petals withered.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Newly opened flowers are tea-cup shaped.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Lower leaves are also pinnate, but with wider lobes.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Upper leaves have narrower but still pointed leaflets. Yet-to-open flower-buds on right.


19th May 2011, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
This may be a young leaf not yet fully grown?


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The fried-egg look of the flowers.

No relation to : Meadowsweet (which, from afar, looks foamy) nor to Meadow Buttercup, Meadow Saxifrage, Meadow Thistle, Common Meadow-Rue, Lesser Meadow-Rue, Alpine Meadow-Rue, Meadow Vetchling or Meadow Crane's-bill [plants with similar names, but belonging to differing families].

Not in many wild-flower picture books, you are much more likely to find this in a garden than growing wild, but it will grow wild as a casual; rarely persisting. The above specimens were planted as educational. There are about nine other flowers from the Limnanthes Genus; but they do not grow wild in the UK.

An edible oil can be extracted from White Meadowfoam (which doesn't grow wild in the UK). The oil is similar to that of Rape-seed oil, and contains over 98% of unique long-chain fatty acids, which are very stable. The principal components were a C20-Monoene plus a C22-Monoene. The extracted oil is widely used in cosmetics and hair-care products because of its high stability.

Two plant Ecdysteroid Glycosides have been isolated from Meadow-foam, Limnantheoside A and Limnantheoside B (where the glycoside within each is that of Xylose), plus two plant Ecdysteroids 20-HydroxyEcdysone and Ponasterone A.


  Limnanthes douglasii  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Limnanthaceae  

Distribution
 family8Meadow-Foam family8Limnanthaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Limnanthes
Limnanthes
(Meadow-Foam)

MEADOW-FOAM

Limnanthes douglasii

Meadow-Foam Family [Limnanthaceae]

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